Zombies have invaded nearly all areas of entertainment. Their shambling corpses have wormed their way into books, films, and countless video games – and a quick search of the Google Play store for ‘zombie’ returns a staggering (no pun intended) 10,834 results.
Zombies are most certainly an incredibly overused trope.
Thankfully, in Zombie Derby they’re a trope that amounts to little more than some background context for utter vehicular-based point-to-point carnage.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a sort of side-on version of Carmageddon, but once you bite through the fleshy exterior Zombie Derby is rather different.
Instead of entering a race to mow down the undead, you just have to drive to safety through increasingly brutal stages by upgrading your car.
There’s really no story attached to Zombie Derby, but things are pretty obvious: there’s been some sort of zombie pandemic, the world finds itself in a post-apocalyptic mess and you’re the designated driver to reach various checkpoints, probably in the search for resources. I’m just saying…
The main part of the game sees you drive a badass vehicle… well, nor really from the beginning, but after a while you’ll upgrade it to look great! You drive through the post-apocalyptic world smashing zombies along the way, blasting away explosive barrels and jumping over huge holes, trying to reach your destination, a fort where the zombies have no access.
You do your driving by using a virtual joystick on the screen: you tap the right side of the screen to accelerate, the left side to shoot and you also have the option to use a nitro boost should you feel the need for it. The real goodie comes from the fact that Zombie Derby takes physics into account and you can also tilt your phone left and right to control your vehicle while in mid air. Also, since it’s a post-apocalyptic world that we’re talking about, resources are limited, meaning that you only have a short supply of fuel, nitro and bullets to make it to the end. And most of the time you won’t make it!
Zombie Derby also comes with a life-saving upgrade system: each time you “run” a mission, you receive some coins, coins which can and should be used to upgrade your vehicle. You have options like extra fuel, better motor, ammo for your machine gun and even cool stickers if you have too much money. Also, you can unlock and buy new vehicles and start over with the upgrade process. All in all, a lot of things to keep you busy and your motor running.
The graphics in Zombie Derby look pretty slick and they’re all 3D, but the zombie animation are kind of sucky in my opinion and I feel that more could’ve been done in this department. But not so amazing graphics means that the game runs on older devices too, so there are people who have reasons to be happy because of this.
In conclusion, Zombie Derby is a really high quality game for those fascinated by the world of zombies, as well as physics racing titles and a bit of a survival experience. Probably one of the strongest points of the game after it being available for free, is the fact that while I played I never felt that the developers are trying to force me spend real money to progress or to help my cause. And for that, a hattip is required.